FEIT Research Project Database

Computational fluid dynamics simulations of a stratified gravity current

Project Leader: Andrew Ooi
Staff: Andrew Ooi
Collaborators: Richard Manasseh (Swinburne University of Technology), Khalid Moinuddin (Victoria University), Duncan Sutherland (University of New South Wales)
Primary Contact: Andrew Ooi (a.ooi@unimelb.edu.au)
Keywords: computational fluid dynamics
Disciplines: Mechanical Engineering

Smoke from bushfires transported by gravity currents, and known to occur nationwide, caused the shutdown of businesses, education and events in Canberra in 2019. Recent scientific investigations have shown that the speed of propagation and concentration of smoke in these three-dimensional gravity currents have a long term ‘memory’ of their initial configuration.

In this project, high-fidelity computational and experimental techniques will be used to elucidate the fundamental mechanisms of gravity current entrainment and propagation. This knowledge will set a strong foundation to improve operational forecasts of smoke transport that will allow government agencies to better respond to the negative impact of these complicated flows.